Monthly Archive for February, 2006Page 4 of 21

Paramedics treat patients with BlackBerrys

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By treating patients in their homes, Cambridge paramedics are saving £300 for every short-term hospital admission they avoid. To make the right decisions, non-emergency ambulance teams in Cambridge have been given BlackBerrys so they can access information fast.

Paramedics are using the mobile messaging devices to access social records, so they can see if a patient has any allergies, find out which medication they are taking or get details of their next-of-kin.

Alan Shields, ICT development manager for Cambridgeshire County Council says “In essence it’s based on saving money. If we can save an A&E patient going to hospital by going to their house, paramedics can call someone round to the patient and safely leave them.”

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NTP Accuses RIM of Using Political Clout

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The latest volley in a bitter legal feud over the popular BlackBerry came Thursday when tiny patent holder NTP Inc. accused the wireless e-mail device’s maker, Research In Motion Ltd., of using its political clout to try to sway the U.S. patent office.

“NTP believes that RIM has utilized its money, power and political influence to overcome its complete defeat in the court system and to inappropriately influence the U.S. Patent Office process,” Arlington-based NTP said in a statement Thursday.

NTP’s comments in this he-said, she-said spat came one day before a federal judge in Richmond hears arguments on a possible injunction on U.S. BlackBerry sales and service. Analysts believe an actual BlackBerry blackout is highly unlikely, but the uncertainties in the case are rattling some of the more than 3 million BlackBerry users in this country.

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NTP’s existing settlement terms unacceptable

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Research In Motion Ltd. said on Thursday that patent holding company NTP Inc.’s existing offer to settle a legal battle, which could shut down its BlackBerry e-mail service in the United States, would not have allowed it to carry on its business.

A court will consider NTP’s request for an injunction on Friday.

“When they took their final position on here’s what we’ll do it wasn’t about money, they wouldn’t give us terms that would allow us to carry on our business,” RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie told an RBC Capital Markets communications, media and technology conference. “We took it to an outside licensing counsel and they said we’d be crazy to take these terms.”

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NTP claims RIM “mischaracterization” of its patents

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Patent holding company NTP Inc. said on Thursday that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. had mischaracterized the validity of its patents, technology that is contested in a lawsuit which could shut down the BlackBerry e-mail service in the United States. With a U.S. court set to consider NTP’s request for an injunction on Friday, NTP said RIM’s assertions that patents have been invalidated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are “flatly wrong.”

It said the review is the first step in a lengthy reexamination process and initial determinations are subject to review by the patent office’s appeals unit and the federal court system.

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Preparing For Possible Shutdown

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Tomorrow is likely the day Judge Spencer gives his ruling on whether or not the Blackberry gets shutdown in the US. We say ‘likely’ because the drama between RIM and NTP, nothing has been certain. Negotiations between RIM and NTP are in the 11th hour but we’re not even sure if that matters. RIM has come out saying that they are still open to a ‘reasonable settlement’ but there has been no news about whether or RIM and NTP are still actively in negotiations.

This brings us to a ruling by Judge Spencer, which is the most likely scenario and we’re guessing that he’ll grant an injunction by the way he’s handling the case; not taking into account the latest USPTO rejection rulings of the NTP patents or not buckling under the pressure from the federal government.

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Gartner: RIM ‘Workaround’ Could be Tricky

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A software workaround solution developed by Research in Motion in reaction to an ongoing patent dispute and possible service shutdown next week may not be as painless for users as first believed. While the alternative will most likely offer a “seamless” transition for most users, there may be some impact on the performance of the e-mail-routing technology due to the protocol requirements needed to make the solution work.

Implementing a solution may also take a month or longer for some companies with a heavy investment in Blackberry devices to make the entire transition. The transition will require modifications in RIM’s own network operations center (NOC) software and downloaded firmware upgrades for each and every Mobile mail device, said a research note by Gartner.

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